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What has The Beatles and Sherlock Holmes Got in Common

What has The Beatles and Sherlock Holmes Got in Common

The Beatles Once Owned A Fashion Shop in Baker Street, London.

I was in a thrift store a while back and I couldn't help but notice a woman wearing a 1960's short mini dress, it had a psychedelic paisley pattern in pastel shades. I immediately shouted across the shop "hey that's a gorgeous dress, where did you get it." The woman said she had bought it from an estate sale, here in California and that it was an original 1968 "apple" label.
Apple Boutique Fashion Label

I could not believe my own eyes, finally I am face to face with an original creation by Apple Corps, a company set up by The Beatles.

The Apple boutique was located on Baker Street in West London, for those that know their history, Baker Street is also where fictitious Sherlock Holmes had his house, so there is the connection.

Apparently, John Lennon, was opposed to calling the shop a "boutique" but because of the pre-hype and the prolific emergence of other fashion Boutiques in and around the 1960's, the fashion store was already becoming known as The Apple Boutique. Paul McCartney is quoted as saying about the boutique " A beautiful place where beautiful people can buy beautiful things." Source Wiki.
When the boutique officially opened in 1967, notable celebrities attended and among it's whos who back in the day was Eric Clapton, Cilla Black, Jack Bruce, Kenneth Tynan and more.

The Store was operated by John Lennon's friend Pete Shotten, band member of the Quarrymen. Jenny Boyd, a fashion model and sister of Pattie Boyd, George Harrison's wife. 

The boutique only lasted for a year, some of the reasons for its closure can be attributed to a lot of shop lifting and not only by customers but by some staff members. The store also got into trouble with Westminster City Council when a mural that was painted n the outside wall was deemed as business advertising and a fine was issued.

The store closed on July 31st 1968.
"We decided to close down our Baker Street shop yesterday and instead of putting up a sign saying, 'Business will be resumed as soon as possible', and then auction off the goods, we decided to give them away. The shops were doing fine and making a nice profit on turnover. So far, the biggest loss is in giving the things away, but we did that deliberately. We're giving them away—rather than selling them to barrow boys—because we wanted to give rather than sell. We came into shops by the tradesman's entrance but we're leaving by the front door. Originally, the shops were intended to be something else, but they just became like all the boutiques in London. They just weren't our thingy. The staff will get three weeks' pay but if they wish they'll be absorbed into the rest of Apple. Everyone will be cared for. ... All that's happened is that we've closed our shop in which we feel we shouldn't, in the first place, have been involved. Our main business is entertainment—communication. Apple is mainly concerned with fun, not with frocks. We want to devote all our energies to records, films and our electronics adventures. We had to re-focus. We had to zoom in on what we really enjoy, and we enjoy being alive, and we enjoy being Beatles." (Source Wiki)
The night before the closing, The Beatles, their wives and girlfriends came to take what they wanted. The next morning it was announced that all the remaining stock was to be given away on the basis of one item per person. In an interview for The Beatles' Anthology, Harrison describes the event: "We ended up giving the contents away. We put an ad in the paper and we filmed people coming in and grabbing everything." Word spread quickly and the shop was empty within hours. The public, numbering in the hundreds, nearly rioted trying to get their share and the police attended. (Source Wiki)

Possibly the only real tragedy in this story is that the original building was torn down and made into an office complex, Travelscene House, 94 Baker Street, London W1U 6FZ. 

The fashion revolution in the 1960's never faded, it's alive an well and we see it's influences in a lot of the things we wear today including the short mini dresses and skirts, paisley designs and psychedelic colors. We love the 60's fashion and AnarchicFashion.com has a huge collection of 1960's inspired fashion for men and women. 

Below is a window in which you can go back in time to see The Apple Boutique in it's full glory. Enjoy!

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